NASCAR Coca-Cola 600: Denny Hamlin wins big in double overtime

Closing out NASCAR Cup Series‘ May schedule was the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, North Carolina on Sunday, where Denny Hamlin came out victorious in the longest race of the season.

Here are the top moments from Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Green!

Hamlin led Sunday’s starting lineup, followed by Kurt Busch, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch and William Byron rounding out the top five spots.

First surety

There was a big two-car crash in Turn 4 involving Ryan Preece, Chris Buescher and Noah Gragson.

Meanwhile, Josh Bilicki exploded up to third place after starting in 32nd.

Third surety

The green flag was back out on Lap 23, but it didn’t last long, as Bilicki hit the wall hard on the driver’s side and joined Preece as the two cars out just 33 laps in after the crash clock ran out on Preece’s team.

The third caution of the race came out when Daniel Suárez made a pass for the lead and chaos ensued. Kyle Busch was left with flat tires but didn’t suffer any major damage despite losing his track position.

follow the leader

After Toyota led the way in Saturday’s qualifier, it was Chevrolets at 1-2-3-4 with Suárez, Elliott, Alex Bowman and Byron in the top four spots. Hamlin was the first Toyota in fifth, and Austin Cindric was the first Ford in sixth.

Another one bites the dust

Corey LaJoie spun out and crashed in Turn 2 — nearly the same exact spot where he crashed on Saturday.

Just like that, both of Spire Motorsports’ cars were out of the race.

Stage 1 done

Elliott held off Tyler Reddick to win Stage 1 — his third stage win of the season. Bell, Ross Chastain and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five in the opening stage.

Spin off Turn 4

Misfortune struck Wallace when he lost it on Turn 4—but he got lucky and slid right into his pit stall in the process. That drew the sixth caution of the race before the green flag came back out at Lap 132.

struggle bus

Meanwhile, Kyle Larson continued to struggle on the track, between hitting the wall, two pit-road penalties and a pit road fire.

“I think this has been the worst race of my life, and we’re not even halfway,” he said.

yellow flag fly

Cindric spun out in Turns 3 and 4 and crashed hard into the outside wall after blowing a left rear tire, bringing out another caution.

The crash interrupted what was about to be a three-car battle for the lead between Kurt Busch, Elliott and Chastain, but it was a lucky break for Wallace, who got a free pass to get back on the lead lap after spinning to cause the previous caution.

The big one!

There was a monster collision in Turns 1 and 2, as Blaney, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski were among those collected for the 10th caution of the race.

Stage 2 in the books

Suárez won Stage 2, followed by teammate Chastain. Erik Jones used some fresh tires to get up to third, followed by Chase Briscoe and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounding out the top five.

Unlucky 13

Gragson brought out the 13th caution of the night on a doozy of a spin into the grass.

Team Trackhouse prevails

Chastain came out on top in the third stage of the race, as the final 100 lapses got underway in Concord.

Closing time

The green flag was back out with 93 lapses remaining. Reddick got a push from Cole Custer to take the lead before Chastain regained the lead just after the four-hour mark in this one.

Huge accident on the frontstretch

Suárez spun in front of traffic and got hit by Todd Gilliland, and then Buescher spun into the wreck before flipping multiple times and ending up in the grass upside down.

That big collision brought out a brief red flag with 53 laps to go and equaled the 16th caution of this race, the most seen since the 2019 Coca-Cola 600.

home-stretch

It was a back-and-forth battle in the final few lapses, with Larson and Briscoe neck and neck to the end.

Not so fast!

Briscoe tried to clear Larson but wasn’t able to pull it off and Larson held onto the lead with three laps remaining, while Briscoe went for a spin and brought out another caution, the 17th overall.

It was an eerily similar move to when Briscoe tried to put a dive bomb on Reddick for the win on the last lap of the Bristol Dirt race, but it didn’t work and ended up costing both Briscoe and Reddick the checkered flag.

Overtime

Austin Dillon, Hamlin, Larson and Chastain were four-wide for the lead, and it ended with Dillon getting turned into the outside wall to trigger another big pileup that took out Dillon, Larson, Chastain and Custer.

Double overtime

With that, things headed to double overtime, where Hamlin came out on top after a wild night in NC Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Briscoe, Bell, Reddick, Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, Larson and Bowman rounded out the top 10, respectively .


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NASCAR - CUP - Coca-Cola 600 - 5/29/2022 NASCAR – CUP – Coca-Cola 600 – 5/29/2022

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